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Annual diversity breakfast brings community together

The Parthenon

Published: Sunday, February 17, 2013

Updated: Sunday, February 17, 2013 23:02

The “We Are the World”” themed diversity breakfast took place Friday.

The annual breakfast was took place in the Don Morris room of Marshall’s Memorial Student Center at 7:30 a.m.

Various departments from across campus were represented, including students and members from the Huntington community. Maurice Cooley, director of the center for African American students, welcomed the attendees of the event.

“We welcome you to the 2013 annual Marshall University diversity breakfast,” Cooley said. “I pray and sincerely hope you will enjoy your morning. This is always a spirited and uplifting occasion.”

Marshall President Stephen Kopp offered the audience greetings as well.

“Anyone who thinks we have passed the threshold of what diversity really means in terms of general acceptance across our society need only to read an editorial like ‘The Ignorance Caucus Continues to Shun the Evidence-based World’ by Paul Krugman to come to very basic terms that we still have a lot of work ahead of us,” Kopp said.

Students that represent three different faiths blessed the food. Adee Elhamdani delivered the Islamic prayer, Megan Garrett delivered the Jewish prayer, and Andrea Celorio delivered the Christian prayer.

The Marshall Jazz Combo and The We Are the World Chorus offered music.

Jasmine Hairston, political science and sociology major, introduced the keynote speaker.

“I think doing these events more and more shows that we are actively seeking diversity at our University,” Hairston said.

Joseph Slash, Marshall graduate and CEO of the Indianapolis Urban League, was the keynote speaker of this year’s event.

Slash spoke of his time in Huntington, as a student at Marshall and his various career paths in relation to diversity. Slash emphasized the importance of education throughout his address.

“One thing we need to be concerned about is that minorities go to college at a rate much lower than the percentages of their general representation in our population,” Slash said.  
Slash challenged institutions of higher education to ask the question, “Do we look like the community we serve and are we producing outputs that look like the community, state and the nation?”

Slash said he believed Marshall had done a good job at this challenge. He said he was proud of where Marshall has come from and believed the campus will continue to grow in diversity with Kopp and Cooley’s leadership.

E.J. Hassan, sophomore international economics major, said the event was a great opportunity to bring students from all areas of the world and demographics together.

“No matter what color we are or where we come from, we are all sons and daughters of Marshall,” Hassan said.

Ebony Robinson can be contacted at 

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